A total of forty Italian women who maintain sexual relations with Roman Catholic monks or priests have sent to Pope Benedict XVI an unprecedented letter which asked him to abolish the celibacy rule for Italian priests.
In this letter, they stated that Catholic priests “need to live with other human beings, to experience feelings, to love and to be loved.”
The mistresses of the Italian priests pleaded also for society to look with understanding on those “who have lived in secret those few moments that they offered and priests who lived with daily fear, doubt and uncertainty.”
This issue was brought back on the agenda of the Vatican in March, when one of the advisers of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, said the abolition of the celibacy rule could stop sexual abuse by priests, which withdrew its claim it shortly after the pope spoke in public about “the principle of holy celibacy.
Signatories said that they decided to make the letter public after having listened to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn retraction, saying it was a statement about the “sanctity of something that is not holy”, as a rule invented by humans. There is much evidence about the existence of married priests in the early centuries of Christianity. Today, Greek Catholic priests may marry, as those who have been married before converting from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism.
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